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Of unsound mind

Wisdom is evidenced when correcting mistakes; unsound mind is evidenced when defending faults.

Huineng, 7th century monk

MANY world leaders, past and present, are known to have endured some degree of mental incapacitation best known to their inner circles and a discerning public. Usually, the truth surfaces after these leaders escape through eschatological exits. President Nixon’s mental health issues begat the Watergate scandal and prolonged the Vietnam war.

Lillian Hellman capped the American psyche: “We are a people who do not want to keep much of the past in our heads. It’s considered unhealthy in America to remember mistakes, neurotic to think about them, psychotic to dwell on them.” Monk Huineng was right.

The M’Naghten rule (1843) helps the criminally accused if it can be proved legally that an unsound mind was the direct cause of homicide, or serious bodily harm. And there is section 84 of the Penal Code which says that a test for insanity has to be legally, not medically, proven!

The Malaysian Federal Constitution (FC) at Article 43(1)(a) disqualifies MPs if such a person “is and has been found or declared to be of unsound mind . . .”

The unmistakable…


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